India’s Mobile Phone Manufacturing Surges 21-Fold in a Decade, Becomes Key Export Commodity

Featured & Cover India's Mobile Phone Manufacturing Surges 21 Fold in a Decade Becomes Key Export Commodity

Mobile phone manufacturing in India has experienced an unprecedented surge in value over the past decade, skyrocketing from Rs 18,900 crore in 2014-15 to an estimated Rs 4,10,000 crore in the fiscal year 2024. This staggering 21-fold increase, amounting to a remarkable 2000 per cent rise, underscores the significant strides made in domestic production. The India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) highlighted the pivotal role of government initiatives such as the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme in this phenomenal growth trajectory. According to ICEA, policies like PLI have been instrumental in attracting global players and fostering a conducive environment for local manufacturing, contributing to India’s emergence as a major hub for mobile phone production.

In a statement, ICEA revealed that India now fulfills 97 per cent of its total mobile phone demand through local production, showcasing a remarkable level of self-sufficiency in the industry. Additionally, the country has witnessed a notable shift towards export-oriented production, with 30 per cent of the total output in FY’24 designated for export markets. ICEA anticipates that by the end of the fiscal year, mobile phone exports from India will reach an estimated value of Rs 1.2 lakh crore, marking a substantial 7500 per cent increase over the past decade.

The note on manufacturing also highlighted the significant contributions of industry giants like Apple and Samsung in bolstering mobile phone exports from India. These companies have played a crucial role in leveraging India’s manufacturing capabilities to cater to global markets. Indian-manufactured devices are now being exported in large volumes to countries such as the UK, Netherlands, Austria, and Italy, as well as regions like the Middle East, North Africa, and South America, indicating the growing international footprint of India’s mobile phone industry.

The exponential growth in production and exports can be attributed to strategic government initiatives aimed at promoting domestic manufacturing, such as the Phased Manufacturing Programme (PMP) launched in May 2017. This program has been instrumental in nurturing a robust indigenous manufacturing ecosystem for mobile handsets in India, incentivizing large-scale production and positioning the country as the world’s second-largest mobile phone producer.

Central to this growth trajectory is the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, which has played a pivotal role in attracting leading global manufacturers to establish production bases in India. The scheme offers lucrative incentives, ranging from 3 to 5 per cent of the incremental sales value, to eligible players for a specified duration. Global giants like Foxconn, Pegatron, Rising Star, and Wistron have been drawn to India’s competitive manufacturing landscape, while Samsung operates its second-largest mobile phone factory in Noida.

ICEA emphasized the collaborative efforts between industry stakeholders and key government ministries, including the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Finance, NITI Aayog, and the Prime Minister’s Office. This close partnership, combined with a conducive policy environment, has been instrumental in fostering the unprecedented growth witnessed in India’s mobile phone manufacturing sector, propelling it to become one of the country’s key export commodities.

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